Utility authority sues Gulfport over garbage contract

Utility authority sues Gulfport over garbage contract

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Harrison County Utility Authority has filed its lawsuit against the City of Gulfport for breaking its garbage and recycling contract with HCUA. The lawsuit was filed in Harrison County Chancery Court on Thursday.

The lawsuit seeks to force Gulfport to stay in the county-wide garbage contract.

"Gulfport going on its own is going to cost the citizens of Gulfport more and the citizens of Harrison County more. The utility authority is the only consolidated form of government we have. It's the One Coast we've been talking about," said HCUA attorney Tim Holleman.

The utility authority voted at its Aug. 24 meeting to move forward with legal action against the city. Supervisor Marlin Ladner said during the meeting that Gulfport breaking its contract will cost tax payers millions of dollars.

This is a battle that's been brewing since Gulfport decided to negotiate its own deal when HCUA signed a six-year deal with Pelican Waste and Team Waste in June.

Gulfport inked a six-year contract with Waste Pro last month.

HCUA decided to look at other options for garbage and recycling services after receiving numerous complaints about Waste Pro's performance.

According to a Facebook post by Gulfport City Council President Rusty Walker, the city decided to withdraw from the contract with HCUA after the utility authority failed to address concerns raised by the city.

Walker lashed out at the lawsuit in the post:

Bureaucracy never ceases the want to feed and grow. However, this madness can be stopped before it escalates further. The Authority can recognize that Gulfport's citizens should be able to hold and manage their own contract. It just takes one vote of the Authority to put it all to rest. Call your Supervisors and respectfully urge them to fight for Gulfport, not against us. After all, you elected them.

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